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Scraping for Obama's Supreme Court Legacy


Senate Republicans have stood with remarkable unity on this issue. That should be the story.

U.S. President Barack Obama (L), nominates Judge Merrick B. Garland (R), to the US Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House, March 16, 2016 in Washington, DC. Garland currently serves as the chief judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and if confirmed by the US Senate, would replace Antonin Scalia who died suddenly last month. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Despite the plethora of White House-manufactured, media-driven stories that the “GOP [is] suffering under pressure” from President Barack Obama’s push to confirm a third liberal justice to the U.S. Supreme Court, there's just nothing there.

GOP leadership has been very clear, even before the president nominated Judge Merrick Garland, that they will give the American people the opportunity to decide the type of justice they want by giving them the opportunity to consider it as they vote for president this November.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 16: US President Barack Obama (L), nominates Judge Merrick B. Garland (R), to the US Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House, March 16, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

This position on Supreme Court nominations during a presidential election year was espoused by the Democrats when they were in a position similar to the one the GOP is in now, but suddenly that doesn’t matter. Today, it is “outrageous” that the GOP takes the position they themselves took not so long ago.

The reasons to wait to confirm a justice are compelling, but we would not have this problem if justices had a deep commitment to the text of the Constitution, as Justice Antonin Scalia had. When justices show that type of judicial restraint, they empower “We the People,” preserving our form of government and our liberties. But when liberal justices act as if the Constitution is a “living, breathing” document that they can manipulate to fit their own preferences, they effectively transform our form of government and place the Supreme Court as “king,” stealing power from “We the People” – completely skewing the balance of power envisioned by the founders.

Add to that a president who continues to push the limits of executive power beyond clear constitutional limits and you have a recipe for disaster.

That is why legislators are correct in using their constitutional power to push back against the other branches and try to restore constitutional balance and return power to “We the People” in order to guard our liberties.

Senate Republicans have stood with remarkable unity on this issue. That should be the story.

But the White House tells a different story to, and through, its friends in the media: “GOP starting to show signs of buckling under pressure.” The loyal liberal media has responded with much enthusiasm. “Look, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) smiled at Garland in the hallway. She likes him. Headline: Is Ayotte defying leadership?” “Hey look, we’ve received 300 MoveOn.org press releases in the last two hours. Oh, the GOP will feel the pressure now.” “Let’s call Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and ask if she will say, ‘Hello’ or ‘Good morning’ when she meets with Garland. That will be telling.”

The media is scraping the bottom of the barrel so much to deliver for the White House on this there’s not much left.

They will keep looking. And they will find whatever they want to find. If not for this story, for the one they want to create going into the presidential election.

That is the ultimate reality of the White House’s push on the confirmation of Garland. They know he won’t be confirmed, so all calculations are being driven by November 2016. That’s why the push is really about hearings and not a vote. The cries of “not even a hearing,” are being pushed on all sides by Democrats and the sympathetic media because the spectacle of hearings is what would be really valuable for the election.

They are dreaming about 24-7, wall-to-wall coverage of Garland hearings that they can turn into a complete circus, to say whatever they want with impunity.

Republican senators show great wisdom in resisting all attempts at this, keeping the focus on the many issues our country is facing. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Former Senate Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), especially, have shown great leadership in standing on principle, despite the White House’s orchestrated effort to distort reality.

Their resolute commitment to “support and defend the Constitution” has been evident throughout this process and will be written about in the history books.

Mario Diaz, Esq. is Legal Counsel at Concerned Women for America, the nation's largest public policy women's organization. His book Be Spent: Winning the Fight for Freedom's Survival is available now at BEspent.com or Amazon. Follow him @legalblurbb

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